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College Football Playoff

December 29, 2008 by Big Tony · 1 Comment 

ncaa football 300x300 College Football Playoff

While I’m a fan of all sports I try to keep to writing about hockey. However, last month I put together my idea for a possible college football playoff that I would like to share. Feedback is encouraged because I think FBS (former D-IA) is overdue for a playoff.

Below is my attempt at creating a college football playoff.

General Setup

· 12 teams, 6 automatic births, 6 at-large
10 regular season games min. (8 conf, 2 non-conf)

· Keep BCS system as it is today to rank teams. At the end of the season—in the final BCS poll—remove BCS conference champs.

· Take remaining teams and put them in order. Top 6 ranked teams get at-large bids.

· Of the 12 playoff teams top four in BCS get bye weeks. Seeding based on BCS rank among 12 teams.

· Regular season ends Saturday before Thanksgiving at latest. Conference title games played Thanksgiving weekend.

· Opening Round played weekend after conference title games.

· Playoffs run through National Semi finals weekend.

· Monday after national semi final games is when the minor bowls start. Bowls played every day at existing sites and played for subsequent two week period leading up to National Championship Game.

· National Championship Game played first Monday in January

Current BCS Bowl Sites

· Four BCS Bowl sites kept as is.

· Sites get a national quarterfinal (to be shown in prime time) national semi-final, and national championship game on rotation.

· Remaining playoff games (other 3 quarterfinals and opening round games) played at current non-BCS bowl sites

Minor Bowls

· Minor Bowl games played in two weeks leading up to national title game (after national playoffs). Their significance is not changed at all.

Under the system proposed above here is how the playoffs would shape up

Automatic Bids (BCS Conference Winners):

· Virginia Tech (ACC); Oklahoma (Big 12); Cincinnati (Big East); Penn State (Big 10); Florida (SEC); USC (Pac-10)

At-large bids (top 6 in BCS excluding BCS Conference Winners):

· Texas (Big 12); Alabama (SEC); Utah (Mountain West); Texas Tech (Big 12); Boise State (WAC); Ohio State (Big 10)

Seeding (In order of appearance in final BCS rankings)

1. Oklahoma*

2. Florida*

3. Texas*

4. Alabama*

5. USC

6. Utah

7. Texas Tech

8. Penn State

9. Boise State

10. Ohio State

11. Cincinnati

12. Virginia Tech

*Denotes opening round bye

Opening Round match-ups (weekend of 12/5):

USC vs. Virginia Tech

Utah vs. Cincinnati

Texas Tech vs. Ohio State

Penn State vs. Boise State

National Quarter finals (weekend of 12/12):

Oklahoma vs. Lowest remaining seed

Alabama vs. Highest remaining seed

Florida vs. Second lowest remaining seed

Texas vs. Second highest remaining seed

National Semifinal (weekend of 12/19):

Semi #1: Highest remaining seed vs. Lowest remaining seed

Semi #2: Second highest remaining seed vs. Second Lowest remaining seed

National Final (Monday 1/5/2009)

Winner Semi # 1 vs. Winner Semi #2

Dates listed are for how this system would have worked if it had been implemented from the season’s beginning

I realize there are a lot of logistics to figure out but this is the basic frame work. The automatic bids disallows a team in a major conference to feel like they were cheated, win your conference and you’re in guaranteed. The at-large spots give those not in BCS conferences a chance to participate and it gives teams who played in top level conferences but did not win it a chance gain a spot as well. And no the idea did not come from the NFL but rather it was the best way I could think to have automatic bids make up half the playoff and half to be at-large (similar to basketball where the split is close to 50-50 at 34 at-large to 31 automatic bids). I also thought this might be the best way to determine a champ on the field while also keeping a healthy discussion going about: 1. Who should be seeded above whom and why 2. Who should be the “twelfth” team in.

Let me know what you think, thanks.

Winter Classic Excitement

December 29, 2008 by Big Tony · Leave a Comment 

winter classic 300x237 Winter Classic Excitement

The NHL’s second Winter Classic is only two days away and the sports world should be in for a real treat. The Chicago Blackhawks have won 9 straight games and have recorded a point in each of their last ten. Not only is winning nine straight impressive but the Hawks have been putting away some very good teams including at home against Philadelphia and four road games against Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Minnesota. Chicago is getting great play from not just their big stars (Kane, Sharp, Toews, Campbell) but also from guys like defensemen Duncan Keith who has 18 points and is a plus 19 for the season. They are a solid team and are finally coming together to create what could be something very special not only in the years to come but this season in particular.

On January 1st the Blackhawks welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Wrigley Field and rumor has it that the Red Wings are pretty good… Clearly the Red Wings are very good for not only are they the defending Stanley Cup champions but they are second in the West with 50 points trailing only the amazing San Jose Sharks who the Wings recently pummeled 6-0. Complimenting the Wings would take all day so I’ll just let mentioning names like Lindstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa, and Frazen (among many others) do all the explaining themselves. Not only will the atmosphere be great but the hockey won’t be half bad either. The fans are hyped and the players are excited as face-off approaches. In two days the eyes of the hockey universe will be focused on Chicago, live at 1pm eastern time on NBC in the US and CBC and RDS in Canada. The wait… is almost over.

Patience Needed in NHL

December 22, 2008 by Big Tony · Leave a Comment 

anxiety 300x219 Patience Needed in NHL

The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and San Jose Sharks are the only three teams in the NHL that have shown any amount of consistency all year. The Pittsburgh Penguins once upon a 6 game winning streak, and now it looks like they cannot play defense or hold a lead for the life of them. At times Toronto has looked very strong at times and at others look very much like the young team they are. The New York Rangers started hot out of the gate and since have settled down a bit but are still playing well. Anaheim started pretty sluggish but now they look great and Phoenix was awful at one point but have seemed to put it together to become a much better team since the beginning of the year. Ottawa was up and down for a while got hot for a moment and now they are looking to have a fire-sale. The list of teams and stories to accompany them goes on and on, the point being, save for the three teams mentioned in the first sentence above we don’t know anything about anybody. There is Panic in Pittsburgh with how the team has stumbled, there are rumblings in Montreal with how poor their power play is and how well the Bruins are playing. Bottom line is for players, coaches, front office managers, analysts and fans alike what is needed most in the NHL is to have patience with a team and that’s what there seems to be the least of. See where your team is come late January early February and then start to Panic.